non-repetitive motions

I dug my hands into the soil for the first time this season.

filling space

filling space


We transplanted broccoli, bok choy, parsley, onions, cut celery, and cabbage this week. There are potatoes, peas, and greens in the ground, too. The brassicas are under hooped remay until they grow a little bigger and can handle the cold and pests. The white cloth does wonders for organic growers!

Today the goats managed to get out of the barn. I was biking down to work and I wondered why there were in the road and eating the leaves off of trees. We quickly corraled them back into their home and had to put the door back on its latch. One goat was eating a big bright yellow dandelion as she trotted back into the barn as if she were late for a date. They are so funny, these animals!

ladies lazily laying when it's warm outside

ladies lounging in their barn












Every day is different here. I like the diversity of tasks. I’m never doing one thing repetitively for hours. I woke up at 5 this morning to milk. There is never a dull moment with goats…

Here’s the “routine:”

1. open gates to let the goats across to the milking parlor

2. yell my head off as they try to stop and eat the fresh green grass

3. carrying the straggling babies

4. close the gates

5. sweep poop off road

6. prepare parlor for milking (this takes longer than you’d think, I won’t bore you with details but there’s a lot of pumping water into hoses, turning machines on, filling grain, putting together bucket…)

7. open the door and let one heavy mama come though, check her name off

8. dip cup (squirt once on each teat)

9. attach pump and bring another girl in!  

letting those rascals loose

letting those rascals loose

This goes on for about 3 hours. They let you know when their grain is empty, when the pump is annoying, when they are done, when they don’t want to leave, when they don’t want to come in, when they want to be scratched or spoken to. 

grain yum yum

grain yum yum

it is 4:30 yet?

it is 4:30 yet?



They get the full treatment.




It’s amazing how many steps there are to the process. Much of the time is spent cleaning everything carefully to prevent unwanted bacteria. I am learning a lot of physics while using hoses and pumps. I like practical application rather than sitting in lectures looking at slides about formulas. Using my body to accomplish so much in one day is really empowering. I feel strong, capable, satisfied, and proud while working hard. 

spinach bolting

spinach bolting

greens in the greenhouse

greens in the greenhouse



Eating well contributes to feeling good! So, eat your greens and play in the garden!





ah, exhaleviolets

tot soi





true wealth.

1 Comment

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One response to “non-repetitive motions

  1. russ geer

    Wonderful website! My wife, Liz, and I graduated from UMASS 15 years ago and now live and work in Boston with our 11 y/o daughter, Sierra. We’ve recently been discussing how we miss the Pioneer Valley and the quality of life there. I was a BDIC major in Environmental Studies and I’ve been working in state parks and environmental education in and around Boston since graduation in 1994. I found your name while reading a list of William Field Scholarship recipients, which my wife’s cousin was on. I thought your degree looked interesting so I googled your name. I’m so impressed with what you’re doing. Thank you for the inspiration. Best wishes to you with the earth, wind and water (and the fire in the stove, of course).

    Russ Geer

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